If you are bringing a claim against your employer for things like unfair dismissal, or unlawful discrimination or equal pay we can help.
What we will do for you
Our service is provided by experts. One of our partners will be assigned to manage your claim. All of them have at least 10 years’ experience of dealing with employment law disputes. This means that they know where time spent on your case will bring the best returns. We can’t guarantee to win every case, but we do promise to give you a clear assessment of how likely you are to win, how much you might expect to receive from the Tribunal if you are successful and what it will cost. We will also provide guidance in relation to any settlement offers that might be made.
We will be honest with you if we think that your case is not strong, or is unlikely to succeed. We will keep you updated with our assessment of the strength of your case, as that may change in the light of the evidence that you or the other side provides, or because of changes in the law as your claim progresses.
Our experience means that we have handled just about every conceivable type of claim, and the fact that we act for both employers and employees help us clearly identify the issues and risks (for both sides). We pride ourselves on being able to give a meaningful and realistic overview at an early stage; we know our clients don’t like surprises.
You can meet our specialist and experienced team here
. All work is supervised by an experienced Partner.
How much might I recover?
No two cases are the same, but as a general rule the longer you have worked for your employer and the higher your salary, the greater the value of any claim and potential award or settlement. In most cases, the amount of any award will reflect the amount of financial loss suffered, which usually depends on the amount of salary and how long you are out of work.
How long will it take?
There are a number of factors which will affect the timescale for completing the hearing of your case. Nearly all claims start with providing basic details of your claim to ACAS, who then contact your employer to see whether settlement can be achieved. This process is known as Early Conciliation. If a claim can be settled at this stage, then this should be achieved within around 4 weeks of the ACAS process starting.
If settlement isn’t achieved at that early stage, then you will have to start your formal claim to the Employment Tribunal. As a guide, claims for unfair dismissal are generally heard within around 12 months of the formal claim being submitted to the Tribunal. More complex cases, such as those involving discrimination can take longer to complete; often 12-24 months. Settlement may be achieved at any stage, subject of course to both sides being able to reach agreement.
How much will it cost?
Just as no two cases will be the same in terms of what compensation might be recovered, so the costs of a case will depend on a number of factors, which will include:
- The complexity of the facts in your case
- The complexity of the legal arguments in your case
- The number of witnesses in total
- The amount of documentation
- The approach to litigation and settlement taken by you and your opponent
- Whether in addition to the main hearing, any additional procedural hearings are needed during the progress of the case, either because of the complexity of the issues, or the approach of the other side
- Any particular measures that the Employment Tribunal considers are necessary for the case to be dealt with effectively
- The seniority and location of the members of our team who will work on various aspects of your case. Where we apply hourly rates, these range typically from £240 to £495 per hour plus VAT (£288 to £594 inclusive)
- The costs of any third parties who we agree with you should be instructed on your behalf (perhaps a barrister or a medical or other expert in appropriate cases)
At an early stage we will agree the approach most suited to your case and circumstances and will keep this under review. We will not encourage you to bring a claim which we don’t think has any real chance of success, or one where bringing a claim is unlikely to bring much by way of financial or other benefit.
We will approach the management of your case in the same way; working out with you what is important and where it makes sense to spend time and money.
- Generally, one of our partners will carry out the advocacy in the Employment Tribunal. However, there may be situations where your preference is to instruct an external barrister, or our advice is that you should do so. In those cases, the cost of the barrister will tend to depend on their seniority and the complexity of the case and length of any hearing.
- Indicative costs of instructing a barrister to present a claim of unfair dismissal only, with a hearing lasting two days are:
- Junior barristers (up to c5 years' experience as a qualified barrister) - £2,500 to £4,000 plus VAT.
- More experienced barristers (c5-10 years' experience as a qualified barrister) - £3,500 to £7,000 plus VAT.
- Highly experienced barristers (more than 10 years' experience, but not a KC) - £5,000 to £10,000 plus VAT.
As indicative costs we provide the following:
- In a straight-forward claim such as where your only claim is that your former employer has failed to pay your notice pay and which does not involve more than a single day’s hearing at the Tribunal, costs are likely to be in the region of £5,000 to £7,000 plus VAT, though if the case lasts more than one day, the costs might be above £10,000 plus VAT.
- Straight-forward claims involving unfair dismissal and a hearing not longer than one day will generally cost in the region of £10,000 to 13,500 plus VAT.
- More involved cases of unfair dismissal where the hearing lasts for two to three days are likely to cost £15,000 to £25,000 plus VAT.
- Discrimination claims tend to take longer to prepare for hearing, and the hearing itself is often longer. As a guide, the hearing of a case of medium legal complexity is likely to involve a hearing of four to five days, and involve costs of £40,000 to £50,000 plus VAT.
Please note that these indicative costs do not include the costs of a barrister representing you at the hearing; they would be charged in addition.
Do I have to commit to the full cost ‘up front’?
No. We can agree to support you for all or part only of the litigation process. You can decide at each stage whether you wish to continue with our help.
Most claims settle before the main hearing. Most claims will follow a process which means our involvement can be broken down into the following stages:
- Taking your initial instructions, reviewing the papers and advising you on merits and likely compensation (this is likely to be revisited throughout the matter in the light of changing
- Circumstances and as further information is received
- Entering into pre-claim conciliation where this is mandatory to explore whether a settlement can be reached with the employer
- Preparing the formal claim
- Reviewing and advising on the response from your employer
- Reviewing and responding to correspondence from the Employment Tribunal
- Exploring settlement and negotiating settlement throughout the process
- Preparing a schedule of loss (that is a financial statement summarising the potential areas of compensation you will claim if you are successful)
- Preparing for (and attending) a Preliminary Hearing Reviewing and identifying relevant documents with you, and exchanging them with the other party and agreeing a bundle of documents
- Taking witness statements, drafting statements and agreeing their content with witnesses
- Preparing a bundle of documents
- Reviewing and advising on the other party's witness statements
- Preparing for the Final Hearing which may include agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or cast list
- Preparation for and attendance at Final Hearing
- Advising you after the hearing in respect of the decision, whether in relation to any appeal or the enforcement of any award in your favour or in relation to any appeal (whether brought by you or the other side)
This is not an exhaustive list of steps, and there are not entirely sequential.
The final costs will reflect the number of steps which we worked on, and as a general rule the earlier any case is resolved (whether through settlement or otherwise) the lower the overall costs.
Do you offer your services on a ‘no win no fee’ basis?
Do you offer your services on a damages based agreement (DBA) or a conditional fee arrangement (CFA)?
Exceptionally, we may agree to apply one of these approaches where we believe that the case is a suitable one. Where we agree such an approach with you, we may be entitled to up to 35% of any sums that you recover.
Please click here for a downloadable PDF of our pricing for bringing employment tribunal claims.